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Humans have built roads for thousands of years. Today, new roads are being built rapidly, even in very remote parts of the world. These roads can create benefits for humans but they also pose risks to the environment. And where we build roads matters.
Watch the video, then answer the discussion questions in small groups, or as a class.
1. Discuss some benefits of roads for human societies. Can you think of any additional benefits that were not mentioned in the video?
2. Discuss some challenges that roads pose to biodiversity and the environment more generally. Also think about the placement of roads – is a road built on a forest edge likely to have the same impacts as a road built through the middle of a forest?
3. What are some of the ways that roads are used to help the environment or aid conservation?
4. Brainstorm what factors we should consider when we build new roads. Can you think of any ways of protecting biodiversity near roads? (For instance, in some locations, tunnels and bridges are used to provide safe pathways for traveling animals.)
Use these articles from Mongabay.com for your reference or to extend the discussion about roads and biodiversity:
Warning: the story below contains images of animals killed on roads